League Report: Galway United 0 - 1 St Patrick's Athletic


Jamie Lennon Credit: Paul Dolan (ETPhotos)

Paul Corcoran reports from Eamonn Deacy Park

Galway United suffered defeat in their first game back in the Premier Division when St Patrick’s Athletic ran out 1-0 winners at Eamonn Deacy Park on Friday night.

Jamie Lennon scored the only goal of the game as the Saints got off to a perfect start in their league campaign.

With Galway United having a fairly settled squad coming into the new season John Caulfield had just two debuts in his first starting eleven of the year. Karl O’Sullivan and Garry Buckley both new arrivals from Sligo Rovers during the offseason got the nod.

Although St Patrick’s Athletic had already been in President’s Cup action this month, Friday night saw a number of players make their first Premier Division start for the club with Marcelo Pitaluga, Conor Keeley and Luke Turner starting. Ruairí Keating also started, the striker facing off against Galway having played under John Caulfield during the 2021 season.

It didn’t take long for the FAI Cup champions to take the lead in this contest – in the third minute Chris Forrester floated a cross into the box and Garry Buckley failed to control and clear the ball allowing Jamie Lennon to rattle the ball into the top corner from close range.

Galway United did settle after that early disaster and got into the Saints’ final third a number of times before registering their first shot of the game in the 19th minute when Ed McCarthy dragged the ball across the ground from distance with the ball drifting wide.

Kian Leavy picked up possession after an error in defence in the 22nd minute and skilfully made his way into the box, his shot looked destined for the bottom corner but it too went just wide of the post.

Brendan Clarke was called into action a few minutes later when Lennon fancied his chances from the edge of the box, the former Saints goalkeeper was well positioned to deny the midfielder.

Marcelo Pitaluga was nearly caught out just before halftime when Regan Donelon stormed up the field with the ball and floated a cross into the box with McCarthy meeting it well but the Athletics’ goalkeeper reacting quickly to grab the ball.

What had been a quiet second half until beyond the hour mark, the press box was swiftly brought to life in the 65th minute when four substitutes entered the game for Galway United, and a fifth in total with Jason McClelland taking the place Carl Sjoberg for the Saints.

A first effort on goal was finally registered just before the 70th minute mark when McClelland combined with Leavy to get a shot off, but the ball bobbled across the surface and into the hands of Brendan Clarke.

The Tribesmen were reduced to ten men in the 79th minute when Galway substitute Tom Costello appeared to be brought down in the box. Stephen Walsh was sent for an early shower when referee Eoghan O’Shea gave the striker a straight red, presumably for dissention.

United were on the back foot in the 88th minute when Ruairí Keating was played through on goal, the striker just marginally failed to beat the offside trap and the former Tribesman was denied a clear chance to score against his former club.

Galway United: Brendan Clarke; Killian Brouder, Garry Buckley (Robert Slevin, 65), Regan Donelon, Colm Horgan; Vincent Borden (Tom Costello, 65), David Hurley, Edward McCarthy (Al Amin Kazeem, 65), Conor McCormack (Patrick Hickey, 65), Karl O’Sullivan (Francely Lomboto, 84); Stephen Walsh.

Subs not used: Joe Wright, Conor O'Keeffe, Aodh Dervin, Leo Gaxha.

Booked: Conor McCormack (45), Ollie Horgan (52), Chris Collopy (77).

Sent off: Stephen Walsh (79).

St. Patrick's Athletic: Marcelo Pitaluga; Anthony Breslin, Conor Keeley, Joseph Redmond, Carl Sjöberg (Jason McClelland, 66), Luke Turner; Christopher Forrester, Kian Leavy (Brandon Kavanagh, 75), Jamie Lennon, Jake Mulraney (Cian Kavanagh, 75); Ruairí Keating (Mason Melia, 90).

Subs not used: Daniel Rogers, Alfie Taylor, Aaron Bolger, Arran Pettifer, Alex Nolan.

Booked: Jake Mulraney (20), Kian Leavy (33), Joe Redmond (55)

Referee: Eoghan O'Shea.

Attendance: 4,094

extratime.com Player of the Match: Chris Forrester (St Patrick’s Athletic)